Survival Rates for Certain Cancers Falling

Progress in improving survival rates for some types of cancer has gone into reverse, states a new report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The official data looked at six main types of cancer which affect around 20,000 people in England annually and found that progress to improve five year survival rates has halted and in some cases is actually getting worse.

The UK performs poorly

The ONS data also shows that Britain is performing worse than some comparable countries such as Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Australia for some of the most common cancers including breast, lung, bowel and ovarian cancer. Progress for these types of cancers is being made, but for six other cancers improvements in survival rates have stalled, or even getting worse.

Women suffering from thyroid or bladder cancer have a work outlook than previously and there has been no progress in treating pancreatic cancer. Men don’t fare any better, with survival rates slipping for thyroid and testicular cancer, and no improvements in the rate for mesothelioma between 2008 and 2012.

The head of Macmillan Cancer Support, Ciarán Devane, stated that cancer charities were concerned that the UK was falling behind and not doing enough to rectify the situation. He called for all politicians to prioritise the poor cancer survival rates in the UK.

According the ONS figures, the five year survival rate among women diagnosed with cancer of the bladder between 2007 and 2011 was 49.1%, but this had fallen to 48% for those diagnosed between 2008 and 2012.

There has been no progress in women’s pancreatic cancer, and still only 5.4% of those diagnosed survive for five years or more. The rates for men with pancreatic cancer were even poorer, but have now improved to the same level. Slight falls were recorded in survival rates for male asbestos related lung cancer, and for Hodgkin Lymphoma in women.

The rates for men surviving five years after a diagnosis of thyroid cancer fell 1.1% to 81.8%. Survival rates for testicular cancer have increased dramatically over the last few years, but even this has seen a decrease of 0.5% to 97.3%.

There is at least some good news

It’s not all bad news though, as the survival rates for breast cancer suffers increased 0.8% to 86.1% and bowel cancer survival rates were up 1.4% to 58% for men and up 0.3% to 57.6% in women. The best improvements shown in the data were for a type of bone cancer known as myeloma, which saw survival rates up 3.95 to 46.7% for men and up 4.6% to 46.2% for women.

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